In order to discuss the possibility of these tests, Tesla regulatory official Nasser Zamani wrote to a Nevada DMV representative, "To insure we are on the same page, our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle". (Otto later claimed it did in fact have an engineer farther back in the cab of the truck.) It appears Tesla learned Uber's lesson and contacted the state's DMV first, although the Nevada DMV said that Tesla has not yet applied for the necessary permits to test an autonomous semi in the state.
Tesla is also set to meet with the California DMV to discuss autonomous trucking technology, according to comments made by that organization to Reuters. In April 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Tesla Semi would be unveiled in September.
Several companies are working on autonomous driving technology specifically for long-haul trucks, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Some of these tech firms are working on "platooning" technology which allow drivers to rest, while the automobile itself and trucks behind will follow the leader truck.
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"However, the time-frame during which even platooning can safely be delivered without a driver in the vehicle remains to be seen and we believe, as per other autonomous technologies, that deployment with full "hands-off and eyes-off" will take longer than many anticipate".
That's the term for automated vehicles traveling very close together at speed, which significantly cuts aerodynamic drag.
Self-driving trucks haven't been tested on Nevada roads yet.
Musk confirmed of Tesla working on heavy-duty electric trucks in one of his tweets in June. Tesla seems to be passing through scrutiny over the safety of using Autopilot since last year's fatal crash in Florida.